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Sexual assault claim a “misunderstanding’: Vachira Phuket Hospital



Sexual assault claim a “misunderstanding’: Vachira Phuket Hospital | Thaiger

PHUKET: Vachira Phuket Hospital has concluded that a sexual assault charge against one of its staff members was the result of a “misunderstanding”.

The hospital investigation began after a woman filed a complaint with Phuket City Police on Tuesday that she had been sexually assaulted by hospital staff while undergoing an x-ray examination.

Lt Col Sian Kaewthong told the Gazette that the woman had gone to Vachira Hospital at about 2am on Tuesday “because she had taken too much paracetamol”.

“After she was treated, she was taken into the x-ray room for further examination. She said that she was touched around her body [in the x-ray room],” Lt Col Sian said.

“But, I think that it might be a misunderstanding because in the x-ray room there were many hospital staff; the woman and the [accused] staff member were not in the room alone,” he added.

The woman did not want to press charges against Vachira Hospital. Her intentions were to ensure that other hospital staff did not follow the same behavior, he said.

Lt Col Sian said that police will keep the report as evidence but have left it as an “internal problem for the hospital to take care of.”

Vachira Phuket Hospital Deputy Director Dr Somnuk Jirayut told the Gazette today, “We have concluded that this case is a misunderstanding. The patient may not have been fully conscious [at the time of the alleged incident] after being treated for the overdose.

“This is not the first time she has come to the hospital for this treatment,” he added.

“She needed an x-ray of her entire torso, not only her stomach, because the overdose could have affected other organs. So, her bra had to be removed, and because she came alone, the staff could not consult any relatives.

“The staff confirmed that they did inform her they were going to remove her bra. After the examination, she did not make any complaints at the hospital,” Dr Somnuk said.

“We questioned two staff members and have learned from their supervisor that they both have clean records.

“However, I have warned staff to be more careful in dealing with patients, as this case is a good example,” he added.

Dr Somnuk said the results of the internal investigation have been sent to hospital director Dr Jessada Chungpaibulpatana and will later be forwarded to police.

— J. Upatising & S. Nongkaew


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